KUALA LUMPUR - Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) committee member Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj has commended the police for a peaceful May Day rally.
"It is such a big difference and we wouldn't have dreamt of having such a gathering in such a peaceful manner for the rakyat to voice their grievances," he said yesterday.
"It shows that if politics are left out, such gatherings are possible for peace-loving Malaysians."
Dr Jeyakumar, who is also Sungai Siput MP, commended the police for merely observing the gathering.
"There used to be a lot of restrictions with the police making it difficult for us," he said.
He said the organisers of the May Day gathering this year had notified the police of their intention to highlight workers' rights issues.
Earlier at 10am, representatives from 58 NGOs congregated at Central Market. The crowd, sporting red T-shirts and waving banners and placards, marched in an orderly manner towards Menara Maybank.
Among their demands were for a minimum wage of RM1,500, greater freedom for workers' unions, better protection for female employees against sexual harassment and discrimination, and proper housing for wage earners in cities.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Khalid Atan welcomed the Government's minimum wage announcement but said employers needed to do more.
The crowd dispersed at noon.